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SA water prices drop

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South Australian households and businesses are set to save on water bills, with the Essential Services Commission of SA releasing its four-year pricing determination today.

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The State Government says that from July 1, an average SA household will save approximately $200 each year, and an average business around $1,350.

It said some households would save more, citing an example of a Flinders Park home valued at $670,000 and using a high 493 kilolitres of water annually, saving $428 next financial year.

“We are delivering one of the single biggest cost-of-living reductions for South Australians in recent years, which will put hundreds of dollars a year back in the pockets of hardworking families and local businesses,” Premier Steven Marshall said.

“This will significantly ease the burden on local household and business budgets, providing welcome economic stimulus in the wake of COVID-19 and, in many cases, will have the potential to create jobs.”

The Government said that average household water bills under Labor rose by 232 per cent between 2001-02 and 2017-18, and that an independent inquiry into water pricing found that the previous government inflated the value of SA Water’s opening regulated asset base (RAB) by more than $500 million to maximise profits and protect government revenues.

The RAB, which reflects the value of SA Water’s economic assets, is used to set a Pricing Order which sets parameters that must be adopted by ESCOSA in setting its four-year price determination for water bills.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said yesterday that the Marshall Government had revised down the value of SA Water’s RAB and that, combined with lower interest rates, allowed water prices to be cut, along with returns to the state budget for the new financial year.

Environment and Water Minister David Speirs said South Australians would save $186 million worth of water and sewerage bill savings across 2020-21.

“We are slashing the cost of water supply across the state, and significantly reducing how much South Australians pay for their water use. This means that before South Australians even turn on their tap, they’re saving money and the water they use will be much cheaper,” he said.

The next SA Water regulatory period will apply from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024.

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